The Beyond is a very unalterable-central expression used basically for refering whatever place of the world which lies beyond the bounds of nine kingdoms of The Steadfast. Although, as vision of known world is reduced, even by great scholars of Steadfast, is technically considered south lands of Caecilian Jungle, west of Clock of Kara and north of Southern Wall.
The Beyond is a vast wilderness punctuated by very occasional, very isolated communities. Inhabitants are more different and live more isolated themselves than from The Steadfast regions.
Beyond the Black Riage are other strange places, such as the star-shaped Caecilian Jungle where natural and mechanical creatures hunt and strange ruins are being swallowed by plants of all sorts. South of that are the Plains of Kataru, which hold what is apparently a crashed starship, a field of broken white stones with a floating tree in the middle, and a semi-abandoned space elevator. Farther east you find Dessanedi, the Jagged Wastes, which has its own bizarre features, including a good number of mutant settlements; however, it is also important as the gateway to the incredible Clock of Kala (see below).
South of the Plains and Jagged Wastes is another jungle, the Ba-Adenu Forest, which has everything from a massive city of exotic savages to pools of mud which periodically birth bloodthirsty, hound-like creatures. Continuing south and east you reach the crusted-over salt sea of Errid Kaloum and the twin Divided Seas where strange cults of salt-worshipping monotheists and devotees of a giant, floating android head can both be found.
Across the seas are the constantly-undulating Amorphous Fields, my favorite feature of which is the underground city of Vebar that merges Menzoberranzan with Cthulhu and includes the phrase “the local god, Ourthalas, and the homes of his blind wife-priestesses”. Awesome.
Back towards the Steadfast is the land of Seshar, once a prosperous kingdom of the Steadfast, which has now collapsed into disorder. Bordering both Seshar and the Pytharon Empire is Matheunis, the Cold Desert, which is far from empty. It features the crawling citadel-artifice of Nihliesh and the fortress of psychics called the Citadel of the Iron Saint, to name just a few crazy locales.
The Beyond also has its Aeon Priests, but these are not linked by any kind of organized network. They do not answer to the Amber Pope. Instead, they dwell in sequestered claves. Around these claves, small villages and communities known as aldeia have arisen. Each clave has discovered and mastered various bits of numenera, giving every aldeia its own distinct identity. In one, the inhabitants might raise unique bio-engineered beasts for food. In another, people may pilot gravity-defying gliders and race along the rooftops of ancient ruins. In still another aldeia, the priests in the clave may have developed the means to stop aging almost entirely, making the residents immortal and willing to sell their secret–for an incredibly high price. Because the villages are remote and separated by dangerous distances, trade of these discoveries is occasional and haphazard.
In these territories are found plenty self-proclamed rulers, most of communities are completely independent. Many dispersed communities, called aldeia, have little contact with the world beyond his own frontiers, and others have no contact.
Beyond the Beyond
The Beyond may be weird but at least it’s merely strange lands. Through the numenera of past ages, people have also found their way to a variety of dimensions, worlds, and other strangeness.
The Clock of Kala beyond the Jagged Waste is a miles-wide ring of stone as tall as a mountain that is broken by just one passage, a 320-mile long cleft through the Clock called the Sheer. Within the ring-mountain is a paradise-like land called Augur-Kala, inhabited by strange folk who look human but live for centuries and see the world very differently.
Entirely outside of the Ninth World is the parallel universe called the University of Doors, a place of unknown origin and demanding academics. You might find a hidden door in a massive tree, at the bottom of an invisible lake, or in the mind of a retired headmaster. The University combines a means of “magical” travel, an Illuminati-type organization, and a source of information on obscure numenera all rolled into one place.
Locations in the Beyond
- The Bloom
- The Cloudcrystal Skyfields
- The Black Riage
- The Divided Seas
- The Plains of Kataru
- The Amorphous Fields
- The Caecilian Jungle
- Errid Kaloum
- The Ba-Adenu Forest